Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CIDRAP News Coverage Of The H5N1 NIH Workshop


BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID



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For the past couple of days researchers and policy makers have been meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss the future of HHS funded H5N1 avian influenza gain-of-function studies – research that seeks to enhance the host range, transmissibility, or pathogenicity of the H5N1 virus.

Research of this type has been voluntarily suspended since very early this year when – due to a prolonged debate over the publication of a pair of controversial research papers (see The Furor Over H5N1 Research Continues) - a group of the world’s leading researchers announced a moratorium on specific types of bird flu research (see Scientists Announce 60 Day Moratorium On Some H5N1 Research).


Although not being webcast, Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP NEWS has been providing excellent daily coverage of this NIH workshop. 


Follow the links below to get the details.


H5N1 researchers question proposed HHS funding framework

Lisa Schnirring * Staff Writer

Dec 17, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials are in the midst of crafting a framework for funding H5N1 avian influenza gain-of-function studies, and today at a workshop they heard varied feedback from researchers, biosecurity experts, and others.


The 2-day workshop, held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the latest chapter in an intense scientific controversy that was triggered by the publication of two recent studies involving lab-engineered H5N1 strains that showed signs of being transmissible in mammals.

(Continue . . .)



Experts at NIH meeting say H5N1 research moratorium may end soon

Lisa Schnirring * Staff Writer

Dec 18, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – As a meeting to discuss issues related to federally funded H5N1 avian influenza research wrapped up today, experts anticipated that a voluntary moratorium on work with lab-modified strains that have increased transmissibility might end soon and said they sensed agreement about lab biosecurity levels.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) held the 2-day meeting to gather feedback from flu researchers, others in the science community, and the public on its draft framework for funding H5N1 gain-of-function studies and to continue an international dialogue on issues related to benefits and risks of the research.

(Continue . . .)

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